The dead of night…
The Old West town of Lily, Arizona, is home to the Gilded Lily, a former theater…and bawdy house. These days, it offers theatrical productions geared to tourists, but the recent discovery of a skull, a real skull, among the props and costumes shakes everyone up.
So, who do you call? The Krewe of Hunters, a special FBI unit of paranormal investigators. In this case, it’s agent Jane Everett. Jane’s also a talented artist who creates images of the dead as they once were. But the Krewe always works with local law enforcement, and here that means Sloan Trent, former Houston cop and now sheriff. His great-great-grandmother was an actress at the Gilded Lily…and she’s not resting in peace.
Then more remains appear in the nearby desert. As they search for answers, using all the skills at their disposal, Jane and Sloan find themselves falling into danger—and into love.
Praise for the novels of
New York Times bestselling author Heather Graham
“Graham deftly weaves elements of mystery, the paranormal and romance into a tight plot that will keep
the reader guessing at the true nature of the killer’s evil.”
—Publishers Weekly on The Unseen
“Suspenseful and dark. The culture and history
surrounding San Antonio and the Alamo are described
in detail. The transitions between past and present
flow seamlessly, the main characters are interesting
and their connection to one another is believable.”
—RT Book Reviews on The Unseen
“A fast-paced story, involving history and ghost stories. Graham is skilled at creating intriguing,
mature characters involved in challenging situations.”
—Lesa’s Book Critiques on The Unseen
“I am amazed at Graham’s ability to create a magical story that works so well in the present when part of the facts lie in the past. The Uninvited is a saucy romantic murder mystery with ghosts taking center stage.”
“The paranormal romantic mystery
is exhilarating and fast-paced.”
—Genre Go Round on The Unspoken
“If you like mixing a bit of the creepy with a dash of sinister and spine-chilling reading with your romance, be sure to read Heather Graham’s latest.… Graham does a great job of blending just a bit of paranormal with real, human evil.”
—Miami Herald on Unhallowed Ground
“The paranormal elements are integral to the unrelentingly suspenseful plot, the characters are likable, the romance convincing and, in the wake of Hurricane Katrina, Graham’s atmospheric depiction of a lost city is especially poignant.”
—Booklist on Ghost Walk
“Graham’s rich, balanced thriller sizzles with equal parts suspense, romance and the paranormal—all of it nail-biting.”
—Publishers Weekly on The Vision
The Night is Watching
For Nan and Joe Ryan
and my one and only but
really great trip to
Tombstone with them!
Mornings were quiet in Lily, Arizona.
A pity, Sloan Trent thought, walking up the two steps to the raised sidewalk of the town’s main street. He felt tourists were missing out, because these summer mornings were beautiful, retaining the night’s chill, while the days were often blazing.
Not surprisingly, the street was called Main Street. Sometimes, when the wind picked up, tumbleweeds actually swept down the street, along with little clouds of dust. The tourists loved it—except on the few rainy days that turned the dirt road into a mud slide, which clearly explained the raised wooden sidewalks of the 1880s.
The entire town was built of wood; only a few of the newer dwellings on the outskirts were brick or concrete. When Lily was built, lumber had been the easiest material to acquire, so everything was made of wood. Even the jail.
It was probably a miracle that Lily had never burned to the ground. But, small and barren though it might be, the town was a survivor. Just naming it Lily had been a piece of optimism, but when Joseph Miller had first come in hopes of finding gold way back in the 1850s, he’d named the place for his grandmother—not because she’d been beautiful or sweet, but because the Irishwoman had been blessed with the greatest tenacity he’d ever known, according to his memoir.
And Lily, Arizona, was a town that had held on tenaciously through good and bad, fair times and foul.
Sloan looked down the broad dusty road that had been preserved. Lily had almost been a ghost town, in the truly deserted sense; at one time, in the early 1900s, only three places of business had remained open, and since one had been the sheriff’s office and jail, there’d really just been two mercantile establishments, both hanging on by a thread. Those two had been the Paris Saloon and the theater, the Gilded Lily. Of course, staying afloat at that time in this dry Western town off the beaten track, on the road between Tucson and Tombstone, was a struggle, and the Gilded Lily had offered pretty tawdry entertainment in the guise of theater. Clearly, the place had been successful.
And because miners, ranchers, opportunists and downright outlaws enjoyed the services of the main saloon across the street and the bar in the theater, the jail did a booming business, as well.